​Six behind bars for disrupting public order in south-central Vietnam

​Six behind bars for disrupting public order in south-central Vietnam

The defendants stand their trial at the People’s Court in Phan Thiet City, located in the south-central province of Binh Thuan on July 12, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A court in Binh Thuan on Thursday handed down sentences of up to 30 months to seven people involved in a riot in the south-central Vietnamese province last month.

Nguyen Van Minh, 52, Nguyen Van Hung, 26, Nguyen Phuong Dong, 24, and Nguyen Van Manh, 24, were all sentenced to 30-month imprisonment, while Nguyen Dinh Vu, 41, and Tran Thi Ngoc, 50, were slapped with a jail term of 24 months.

Nguyen Minh Hai, born 2001, was given an 18-month suspended sentence.

The convicts received jail terms on charges of disturbing public order.

According to the indictment, a group of people assembled around the Phan Thiet Market in the namesake city at around 5:00 pm on June 10 before moving toward the headquarters of the Binh Thuan People’s Committee to express their opposition to a draft law on special administrative and economic zones in Vietnam.

The bill included a term that would allow land to be leased for up to 99 years to potential foreign investors in the country’s three planned special administrative and economic zones.

A defendant is escorted out of the courtyard. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A defendant is escorted out of the courtyard. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Some people among the mob began throwing rocks at officers and told others to follow them.

The situation intensified at around 9:00 pm, when the mob knocked down gates, stoned buildings, and burned cars in front of the headquarters.

Police were only able to control the situation and arrested multiple suspects the next morning.

At 8:00 pm on June11, a group of people, including the seven defendants, continued rallying in front of the provincial administration, attacking the facility and law enforcement officers with rocks and petrol bombs.

Many of them were eventually apprehended by police officers.

During the trial, some of the defendants claimed they had been paid to commit the crime.

This is the first group of suspects to stand trial in the case.

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